by Maya Robert

As living costs go up, and the value of a penny goes down, people are going to extreme lengths to save money.  We examine some of the most shocking money saving tips that have come our way over the past year.

1)      Bubble-wrapping windows

Image: *ejk*via Flickr

Energy bills aren’t cheap these days, so for those of us without double glazing the money is literally flying out of the window. Bubble wrap from packages and presents can double up as heat insulation and stop your home from losing heat in the winter

2)      Camp in your living room

Image from sean dreilinger via flickr

Another heat saving tip: try camping in a tent in your living room! Or so suggested one of our customers, who told us in a survey that they tried setting up a tent in their living room to keep the heat in and the gas bill low.

3)      Swap the brands for the cheap stuff

Image: osde8info via flickr

Convinced brand names are a con but can’t get your family on board? Why not keep the branded boxes and refill it with the cheaper alternative. After all, you know it tastes exactly the same…

4)      Re-use binned envelopes

Image: djhsilver via Flickr

Office bins are full of discarded envelopes, so why not rescue them and replace the label? You’ll be saving trees as well as your pennies.

5)      Use your dog as a draft excluder

Image: striatic via flickr

This appeared in a uSwitch survey about how we try and save on our gas and electricity bills. One genuine suggestion was to train your dog to sit by your living room door and stop all that hot air escaping.

6)      Collect rain water instead of flushing the loo

Image: Another Pint Please… via flickr

Saving money and the environment can only be a good thing right? Pop a couple of buckets in your back garden and use any rain water you collect to flush the loo and save on your water bill (if you have a meter).

7)      Animal fat candles

Image: ax2groin via flickr

…and while we’re collecting – why not collect the animal fat from your grill and turn it into candles; simply leave to set in a jar and add a wick! It’s not as uncommon as you think, the fat is called ‘Tallow’ and is used to make both candles and soap…

8)      Take your wallpaper with you

Image: swan-t via flickr

If you like your wallpaper and don’t want to pay to have your walls redecorated when you move, try taking the wallpaper with you. It’s amazing what some steam and a bit of care can save you!

9)      Animal fur jumpers

Image: c.a.muller via Flicker

While you might see cat or dog fur on your sofa as a nuisance, some see it as a wasted opportunity. Why not brush away those pesky hairs and save them to knit your very own fur jumper? This is not that uncommon – there are even people you can send your stored strands to if you’re whizz with the knitting needles.  Some pet owners see animal fur jumpers as a fitting way to commemorate the death of their favourite pet and save money. At least you can be sure no one else will have the same one…

10)   Reheat (someone else’s) leftovers

Image: djjewelz via Flickr

Last but certainly not least, our number 10 most shocking money saving tip will surprise even the most frugal among us. When unexpected guests turned up for the weekend with a KFC in tow, Hester had nothing to feed them the next day. That is, until she spied the leftover skins and bones left to waste and decided they would make a delicious soup for all the family. Word to the wise: add lentils and no-one will know the difference.

See Also

Blog: Top ten inflation beating tips